Cuba’s future without Fidel: US style of democracy again?

Cuban leader Fidel Castro still remains in severe condition. Castro is 80 years old. No one knows if he stays alive or passes away in the next few days. However, it is clear that the legendary revolutionary will never be able to come back to his work. What is going to happen to Cuba if it loses Fidel?

Cuba is a unique country that managed to preserve the communist ideology and regime after the collapse of the USSR and the destruction of the global socialist model.

If Fidel Castro dies, it will definitely lead to major changes in the life of “The Island of Freedom.” It is hard to say, though, which kind of changes they will be exactly and when they are going to take place if events take such a turn. If Fidel Castro recovers from his illness, the Cuban regime will remain unchanged, no matter if Castro remains bed-ridden. He will continue to be the symbol of the Cuban revolution until his dying day.

If Fidel leaves this world, Cuba will be gripped with fierce struggle both inside and from the outside. Castro officially handed over his power to his brother Raul on July 31, 2006 after almost 50 years of his stay in the office. It became clear five months later that Raul does not mind to change the political regime in the country.

As a far-sighted politician, Castro prepared a reliable political reserve for the national development. The majority of Cuban ministers, top politicians and party leaders, who take Fidel’s side, are in their thirties. Therefore, there are politicians in Cuba to start establishing the market economy.

On the one hand, Cubans are sick and tired of poverty. On the other hand, the market economy will become a shock for them. One may assume that Cuba will choose the Chinese variant of its further development: to develop capitalism under the guidance of the Communist Party. In this case Cuba will enjoy stability. However, if the new Cuban leadership rushes ahead and follows the shocking therapy model, there will definitely be mass riots. In this case Cuba will most likely come to the military regime.

Cuba's future largely depends on international state of affairs too. If Castro had fallen ill ten years ago, Cuba would have been taken under USA’s control. The current US administration has its own plans for Cuba to establish a democratic regime there after Fidel’s death. George W. Bush stated in March of 2006 that Washington was actively working, but not just waiting for changes in Cuba. If Fidel Castro dies, the USA will launch an extensive humanitarian campaign for the country, send judges, police officers and experts there to organize the national election. As a result, the USA plans to have the new Cuban democratic government in just 180 days.

The USA has a person in charge of Cuban post-Fidel affairs, so to speak. Caleb McCarry, the Cuba Transition Coordinator, tries to “help” Cubans retrieve their freedom after 47 years of dictatorship. About 57 million dollars have been assigned for such “helping activities.” The money will most likely be used to get rid of Fidel Castro’s brother Raul.

However, Cuba does not stand alone with its anti-American policy today. Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez will become the new political leader for Latin America after Fidel. Venezuela will therefore show the largest influence on Cuba with the use of all possible means, including military assistance. Chavez’s petrodollars and charisma will give him an opportunity to stand up against Washington.

It goes without saying that the current and future situation in Cuba is of great interest to another communist state – China. Cuba will perfectly suit China’s expansion goals in the Western hemisphere.

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov